Winter Survival Guide 2020/21 - Mid-month Nudge - JANUARY

Previous posts can all be found here. Follow along on Instagram @fjcoaching for regular nudges.

The story so far…

It seems to me the real-world prompt that brought about this series at this particular time is coming to fruition: where I am today (southern UK) it’s dark and rainy, the national news is grim, the international news isn’t better – admittedly, both depend upon your filter. In any event, this is exactly the time to get these tools out – like any other skill or new learning you need to practice. Keep these themes and tools within reach, and notice that each addition makes the whole stronger. You can pick and choose what suits best according to the need, the mood, and what you really want to accomplish or overcome.

I was reminded this week about how vital it is to create a (small!) set of priorities that give you a clear direction when your time, energy or mental resources are sparse, or pulled in many directions. It helps you to focus your mind and your time: if you ONLY have one hour, how will you spend that time? Answer – doing whatever will move you a step towards what you have defined as your priority. Here’s a great fact I learned this week (which seems to have some truth behind it!): the word ‘priority’ was only ever used in the singular until the middle of the 20th century. By definition you could only have ONE ‘most important thing’. If you only have one today, what is that one thing? If it helps, put a time frame around this: my ONE thing for today, or this week, or for 2021.

Some new observations:

-         Gratitude has never been off the menu – this one goes all the way back to October. Maintain that practice, or return to it if you’ve let it slide. Again and again I see it coming up as the number one, and simplest, way to coax your mind into noticing what is going well, or getting better. Writing it down may be the less essential part, but it helps to cement it into your consciousness. This is not about flippant ‘silver linings’; it’s a constructive tool that helps you to focus on what you have, rather than what is missing.  

-         Remember the secondary theme for January is curate, or take care of. Start with yourself and then expand it to your surroundings.

How is it going for you? Have you committed to the CREATE theme? If not, what is getting in your way? Today is a good day to start. What will you create today? A meal, a list, a space (either literally or mentally)? A little time for a perfect cup of tea? Can you create an intention, a priority?

One new action:

In December I talked about lists, and that can sit comfortably alongside the ‘one priority’ comment. Even if you’re a fan of lists - sometimes just for the joy of crossing items off when they’re done! - be clear what is your one priority, one ‘must do’. Everything else can still be important, but is either an ‘intend to’ or ‘would like to’. Items can move around of course, but when push comes to shove, be quite clear on your one priority.

My one for today was writing this article. Now I can take a few minutes to consider what new task or activity has now made it’s way to the top. It just might be a big pot of coffee...